Advanced Television

Media Broadcast confirms German DVB-T2 HD switch

March 27, 2017

By Colin Mann

In one of the largest switchover procedures in German broadcast history, German broadcast infrastructure provider Media Broadcast will press the start button for the HDTV launch on DTT over the night of March 28th to March 29th.

In the so-called ‘Magic Night’, the service provider will change over hundreds of transmitters throughout Germany to distribute DVB-T2 HD and freenet TV. Millions of viewers will then benefit from a considerably extended channel line-up offered in best HDTV quality for easy, mobile and portable reception through antennas as before.

The switchover procedure will follow a sophisticated choreography controlled and supervised by a specifically created organisational unit of Media Broadcast. Kick-off will be with the current DVB-T signal being deactivated in the switchover regions on March 29, 2017 from 0.00 CET. The distribution of commercial TV channels via DVB-T will be terminated throughout Germany at the same time. Step-by-step, Media Broadcast and ARD’s affiliate broadcasters will then put all designated DVB-T2 HD transmitter sites into operation. The target is to switch over these DVB-T2 HD transmitter networks by 12.00 CET the same day.

Users of DVB-T2 HD and freenet TV will have to conduct a channel search on their reception device following the switchover in order to be able to use fully the new channel variety.

At 69 locations of ARD and Media Broadcast throughout Germany, a total of 327 DVB-T2 transmitters will be put into operation,129 transmitters at 43 locations for the distribution of freenet TV alone. To ensure a smooth transition, more than 200 technicians from Media Broadcast and ARD’s affiliate broadcasters will be on duty. Many monitoring vehicles from Media Broadcast and further partners as well as permanently located measurement stations will monitor the initiation of the transmitter networks and ensure the functioning of all components involved.

“With DVB-T2 HD and freenet TV, DTT will be considerably upgraded,” noted Wolfgang Breuer, CEO of Media Broadcast. “Twenty public channels as well as 20 commercial channels on the freenet TV platform will be available the best possible Full HD quality. There will be further 20 linear channels and many attractive apps and catch-up services through freenet TV connect via HbbTV.”

“The switchover is one of the largest of this kind in Germany. With the initiation of hundreds of DVB-T2 HD transmitters within a few hours, we make a major move that will shape the broadcast landscape for many years. With the distribution of channels in Full HD quality, digital terrestrial broadcasting will occupy a leading position among TV distribution infrastructures,” he declared

“The team of Media Broadcast together with ARD’s affiliate broadcasters and further partners has worked for many months towards this day the public and international broadcast community will follow with great interest. As a long-term, reliable partner of the broadcast industry, we are doing everything to ensure a smooth transition. For the terrestrial television of the future,” he concluded.

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